due to the fabulous weather in colorado, we can bbq all year long, but there is a marked increase in neighborhood bbq activity starting memorial day weekend. whatever the time of a year, consider enhancing your bbq with a wine tasting competition.
i've hosted blind wine tasting nights before where my friends and i will taste 4-6 different bottles of the same varietal of wine at vastly different price points. while fun, i read something on cb2.com that put a competitive spin on wine tasting--instead of the host providing all of the wine, each guest brings two bottles of her favorite wine. the wine can be any varietal, but should be either all red or all white.
each guests wraps one of her bottles in kraft paper and marks it with a number unique to her bottle. the other bottle is left unwrapped and placed with the unwrapped second bottles brought by the other guests. the blind tasting occurs, the voting commences, and the person who brought the wine that gets the most no. 1 votes goes home with all of the second bottles. the prize not only is a good haul, but it also provides guests an incentive to bring a quality bottle of wine.
two other musts are a 1-year aged manchego, a firm spanish cheese, and quince paste, a sweet fruit jam spread.
for crackers, offer a variety of types/textures, starting with a neutral style like carr's table water crackers. and then i'd spice it up with 34 degrees' rosemary crisps (www.34-degrees.com), which are made locally in boulder county.
and if you can find them, grab a pack of any variety of z crackers (www.savorypie.com), a wicked good rustic cracker made in brooklyn, ny.
two other essentials--olives and nuts. i prefer marinated spanish olives with herbs and/or red pepper flakes and spiced or spanish marcona almonds. yum.
for the meat eaters (i am not judging), try olli salumeria's calabrese salame (www.ollisalumeria.com) that has a kick from cayenne pepper or high-quality, thinly-sliced proscuitto from the deli. these are the two pork products i've missed the most since i stopped eating meat two years ago.
finally, every good wine tasting needs a sweet treat. one of my favorites are two-bite brownies. for me, the name is a slight misnomer considering i essentially inhale them one at a time.
i'd love to hear your ideas for making bbqs more fun and unique.
LIVE urban broker associate
jodi gallivan real estate. you. first.(tm)